Tuesday, November 3

Pirates of the Outer Banks

As any #boymom will tell you, the swashbuckling phase can be a lot of fun!  Donning pirate costumes and sword fighting for the glory...or chocolate!  After our stopover on Roanoke Island, we took the opportunity to learn more about Blackbeard and why the area is called the Graveyard of the Atlantic...

More than 2,000 shipwrecks lie off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. A dangerous mix of storms, shoals, and strong currents earn the area the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”  Stroll along Manteo’s waterfront boardwalks, pass the Marshes Lighthouse, and spend some time at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. 

The museum, a free attraction, is a mistake to miss. Friendly staff and vintage boats at the museum educate visitors and locals alike about the craft and history of boat building on Roanoke Island.  Learn more about Blackbeard at Teach's Hole, with The Story of Blackbeard.
So why is it called Graveyard of the Atlantic?
The warm waters of the northbound Gulf Stream meet the cold waters of the Arctic Current off Cape Hatteras at Diamond Shoals, and the entire coast is an area of shifting inlets, bays, and capes, representing a shipping hazard for both coastal and transatlantic vessels.  Because of this, there is an unusually high number of shipwrecks where these currents meet. 
There are hundreds of ships buried in the sands offshore.  They include a fleet of Spanish treasure ships, returning to Europe after successful raids in the Caribbean in 1750 only to encounter a hurricane and end up strewn along the North Carolina coast.  Also, the ironclad Monitor, which sunk off Cape Hatteras while being towed south following her famous battle with the Merrimac. 
This area off North Carolina is not the only deadly coastline. The shores of Sable Island, off Nova Scotia, are so littered with shipwrecks that it has also earned the name "Graveyard of the Atlantic."

Pirates & Graveyard of the Atlantic
Make / Do

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